Science and Society: Working Together to Avoid the Antibiotic Resistance Apocalypse
Before the discovery of antibiotics, even a simple thorn prick could lead to life threatening infection. Antibiotics are truly miracle drugs, making most bacterial infections relatively easy to cure. However, this landscape is rapidly changing with the advent of microbes that are resistant to antibiotics.
This course provides an overview of how antibiotic use leads to antibiotic resistance, including in depth discussions of antibiotic resistant microorganisms and the impact of globalization on this exploding problem. Societal and ethical implications associated with antibiotic use and restriction in humans and animals will be discussed, along with global issues of antibiotic regulation and population surveillance. The class concludes with discussions of alternative therapeutic approaches that are essential to avoid “antibiotic apocalypse.” The course includes lectures by world-renowned experts in various topics, and students leverage this knowledge with their own presentations on important topics related to issues of personal freedom versus societal needs.